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A Short History of England: The Glorious Story of a Rowdy by Simon Jenkins

By Simon Jenkins

The heroes and villains, triumphs and failures of English background are immediately familiar—from the Norman Conquest to Henry VIII, Queen Victoria to the 2 global Wars. yet to appreciate their complete importance we have to comprehend the total story.

A brief heritage of England sheds new mild on all of the key contributors and occasions in English heritage via bringing them jointly in an enlightening account of the country’s start, upward thrust to worldwide prominence, after which partial eclipse. Written with aptitude and authority by means of Guardian columnist and London Times former editor Simon Jenkins, this can be the definitive narrative of ways today’s England got here to be. Concise yet accomplished, with greater than 100 colour illustrations, this gorgeous single-volume background stands out as the regular paintings for years to come.

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Hardrada was a blond giant in his fifties who had spent his life fighting and looting his way across the continent, traversing Russia and reaching Constantinople and Sicily. He readily agreed to Tostig’s suggestion and in August landed at Scarborough with a fleet of 200 longships. From there he overwhelmed a Northumbrian army at Fulford and accepted the surrender of York. In the English Channel a storm further imprisoned William’s impatient fleet in Normandy, while convincing Harold’s commanders that there would be no invasion that year.

Saxon Dawn 410-600 IN THE YEAR 410 a letter was sent from the embattled Roman emperor, Honorius, to colonists in his province of Britannia. They had already lost the protection of the legions, withdrawn from Britannia during the past half century to defend the empire, and had written pleading for help against Saxon raids from across the North Sea. The emperor was beset by Visigoths, and a distant colony at the extremity of the known world was strategically unimportant. The civilisations of the Mediterranean, supreme for a millennium, were in retreat.

His nickname referred not to his youth but to his incompetence. Edgar’s chief minister, the elderly Archbishop Dunstan, predicted at his coronation that ‘such evils shall come upon the English nation as it hath never suffered from since the time it came to England’. The reference to the English still as newcomers is intriguing. Ethelred ruled in exceptionally difficult times and his reputation suffered from accounts written during the anarchy soon after his death. In 991 the Danes staged an eighty-ship attack on Essex, to which the young Ethelred could only respond by paying blackmail money, or ‘Danegeld’.

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